Thomasboro beefs up its police force; meeting continued

THOMASBORO — The Thomasboro Village Board authorized hiring Blake Carey as part-time police officer at its Nov. 5 meeting as it continues the search for a second part-time officer.

“Any (extra) bit of coverage right now would be helpful,” Mayor Tyler Evans said. “I still feel we need to be looking for additional help.”

Carey’s employment is contingent upon completion of background checks. Interim Police Chief Mike Martinez said he expected that to happen within a week. Carey will be paid $17 per hour.

Instead of adjourning the meeting, the board continued it to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, for further discussion of the purchase of a durapatcher for street maintenance. A used machine is available from Hampton Equipment, Inc., Raymond, for $20,000.

The board debated purchase versus rental. Machines available for rent are scarce.

“In my opinion, if it makes more sense to rent, then we rent. If it makes more sense to buy, we buy. I think it makes sense to buy, or at least rent, so we can get ahead on roads. We are behind on road maintenance and need to get caught up so we aren’t chasing our tails on it,” Evans said.

But he questioned if it would be cost effective.

Trustee Dustin Rhodes advocated for slowing down and contacting other vendors.

“I want to make sure we are not buying something just because it’s available,” he said.

Though there is enough money in the budget for the purchase, trustee Tony Grilo was concerned about the larger budget picture.

“We passed a budget with a $70,000 or $80,000 deficit. We have money in the budget, but we’re going to run out eventually. So we have to reel it in sometime,” Grilo said.

He wondered if the village had the manpower to run the machine and if the village could afford the material costs.

Trustee Kyle Henegar said he had been told by a public works superintendent elsewhere that the purchase would not be worth the cost.

Thomasboro resident Gary Rosenbeck, a former superintendent for the Illinois Department of Transportation, volunteered to operate the machine.

In other business, the village is seeking a village clerk to replace Jeremy Reale. He plans to step down Jan. 7. When he submitted his resignation in September, Reale said he would consider an extension of the village has not found a replacement by that time.

“We need to post an ad and reach out to individuals,” Evans said. “That’s the easy part. The hard part is there’s a lot of things Jeremy does that are not necessarily clerk items.”

Evans asked trustees to consider tasks that might be added to the job description.

The board also approved a levy of 2018 property taxes, payable in 2019, of $95,000. Treasurer Leon Albers said the levy was close to the 2017 levy.

Rhodes reported that four new trees will be planted in West Side Park as soon as the ground dries sufficiently. The park sign will be removed in the meantime.

Grilo reported he and trustee Ronda Scott, as members of the house repair committee, had compiled a list of properties where nuisance violations had been observed.

Martinez will follow up on trash and inoperable vehicle violations. Grilo said the committee will create a form letter to be sent to homeowners informing them of violations. Residents Carla Millar and Dee Phillips have indicated interest in helping with the letter.

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